Saturday, September 10, 2011

Network Intelligence: Network troubleshooting gets smarter, faster with ‘Traffic Visibility Networking'

When it comes to managing the network, even realtime monitoring isn’t fast enough anymore. You need to be able to predict what will happen next. I’ve recently started tracking a technology that can help with this challenge. There’s no name for this market but I like to think of it as the Traffic Visibility Networking (TVN) market.
Let me explain. IT has evolved more the past five years than maybe any other five year period in history. We have made our environments more virtual and more mobile. We’ve brought consumer technologies into our environment and pushed traditional IT out into the cloud. All of this to improve resource utilization and to create a more flexible IT environment – and it’s worked!
However, there’s a downside to all of this too. IT is now much more complex that it was even five years ago and this is creating a widely increasing complexity gap between IT skills and IT’s ability to run the environment. I’m not saying IT is any less smart, in fact the IT guys I know are far smarter and more savvy that I ever was in my day but complexity is outpacing knowledge.
As an example, consider voice. Voice was easy. There was a PBX, phones and cables. There was exactly one way to deploy it and troubleshoot it (check the phone, cable or PBX). Today the call servers can be physical, cloud based or virtual. They can be located locally in a branch, departmentally, a company’s data center or hosting provider. The end points can be IP phones, soft phones, mobile clients or web enabled applications. The connectivity can be WiFi, cellular or wired. Each one of these options adds to the flexibility of deployment, but it jacks up the complexity level. The complexity chasm is growing.
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